Metallica’s Kirk Hammett: Therapy worked wonders on my playing

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett says recent therapy sessions have led to him becoming a more confident player.

And he’s confirmed that Greg Fidelman, who collaborated with the band on 2008 album Death Magnetic, is working with them on the follow-up, which should be completed soon.

Hammett tells AltPress: “In dealing with some ongoing psychological issues the last few years, I’ve been able to reconnect with my instrument.

“Going to therapy, learning to be more open and vulnerable, I wondered what it would be like if I played in a more open fashion – then all of this stuff started pouring out.

“Rediscovering playing guitar in an open manner has done wonders for me. It’s added a level of confidence to my playing. I’m really benefitting from it.”

But he still relies on drummer Lars Ulrich to help him define his solos. “If Lars wasn’t there giving me suggestions, all the solos would sound like a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Michael Schenker – I kid you not,” Hammett says.

“Lars offers an objectivity that I can’t get myself. Sometimes it’s hard for me to pick the best idea out of 10 good ideas. Lars is very good at doing that. He’s a drummer and he is so into my lead guitar playing.”

The thrash icons’ 10th album has been subject to many delays, and Hammett admits Fidelman has found that a challenge. “If you ask Greg what the hardest part is about recording Metallica, he’ll say each guy’s schedule.

“Life has its demands. We’re trying to make an album and go on tour, trying to be a band, but we all recognise that if someone has a family situation, that takes priority over everything. That’s another obstacle for Greg Fidelman. He’s always joking about it, but it really takes a lot of tap dancing and juggling.”

Describing the producer as a “taskmaster,” Hammett adds: “The title ‘producer’ itself is a bit ambiguous. It differs from person to person. If you go by the traditional term, we’re doing it with Greg, pretty much.

“He is in the mix. As far as what the final outcome will be, I don’t know. We have not brought in any other producer, and it looks extremely unlikely we’d bring one in this late into the project.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.